When depreciation hits a new car, some can drop in value between 15-30% in the first year and others up to as much as 50% in just over three years. Naturally, as buyers we want to purchase a car that has strong residuals, which will allow you to get a better sale price further down the line should you decide to sell your auto. With that in mind, we’re here to list the best PHEVs that hold their value, even after the first few years.


PHEVs, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, are one of the four main types of hybrid powertrains (the other variants being: self-charging, mild, and the range-extender). The way PHEVs work is they pair a combustion engine (usually petrol) with an electric motor, allowing the driver to switch between the two whenever needed. Typically, PHEVs offer:

  • Excellent miles per gallon and fuel consumption – as long as you use the electric motor and keep the battery fully charged
  • A large battery that can be recharged at a charge point
  • Good range on the electric motor (often above 20+ miles)
  • A more environmentally friendly ride compared to combustibles with reduced CO2 emissions
  • A bridge for motorists who wish to reduce their carbon footprint, but who are still unsure about full-electric vehicles


Usually, PHEVs cost a little more upfront compared to their petrol and diesel counterparts and that’s to cover the cost of the more expensive components, like the battery and electric motor. However, if you do a lot of driving you could save money in the long run with a plug-in hybrid thanks to reduced fuel consumption and lower running costs. In addition, there are some excellent models that have strong residuals, which is great news for buyers who like to drive the latest cars and for anyone who may be looking to sell their vehicle after a few years. To discover the top 10 best PHEVs that hold their value, read on.


residual value, no doubt aided by its iconic status and stylish design. The SUV is a great all-rounder of a vehicle, offering drivers an engaging experience and a comfortable ride, thanks to a spacious and practical cabin. Unveiled in 2010, the Countryman captures everything that’s great about Minis albeit in a sports utility vehicle guise. It still has distinctive styling and a playful character, it’s good to drive, and it has a high-quality interior that’s suitably plush with premium build quality. PHEV models also provide excellent fuel economy with an efficient return of 140 miles per gallon to 166mpg, depending on how you drive it.

Best features:

  • Iconic design
  • Good to drive
  • High-quality interior



On sale from 2017, the Kia Niro plug-in hybrid is a crossover SUV that holds its value well, in part due to Kia’s fantastic 7-year/100,000 miles warranty when bought new. The Niro is designed to fill the gap between Kia’s Sportage, a large SUV, and the smaller Soul, providing the South Korean company with a market dominating range of sports utility vehicles. The Niro is a practical family car, with a spacious cabin that is well-built and comfortable. It comes well-equipped as standard too, with useful tech like a seven-inch touchscreen, a reversing camera, and rear parking sensors. On the road, it provides a relaxed and easy going ride experience, suiting a leisurely pace with decent levels of refinement.

Best features:

  • Practical family car
  • Relaxed driving experience
  • Comfortable and spacious



The PHEV version of the Volkswagen Golf is known as the Golf GTE. Like its forebears, it provides everything that makes the hatchback one of the most popular and leading cars on the market – albeit now with reduced CO2 emissions and even greater fuel economy. The iconic nameplate has premium appeal with strong German build quality, classy styling, and a high-quality interior lined with soft materials. It is a very refined and comfortable car that has broad appeal with a large demographic of buyers, proving ideal for families, young drivers, and city commuters. It is an excellent hatchback that also offers a good driving experience with agile handling. Unsurprisingly, all these aspects add together to ensure the car has strong residual values.

Best features:

  • Strong build quality
  • High-quality interior
  • Refined and comfortable



The Toyota Prius is the car that can be said to have kick started the hybrid revolution. It was the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle going on sale all the way back in 1997 (although hitting the UK market in the year 2000). The five-door family car offers buyers a spacious cabin, with comfortable seating and a good amount of leg and headroom. It also has a very good reliability record, which is fantastic for those looking to purchase a preowned vehicle, as well as those looking to buy new. Undoubtedly, its strong record adds to its good residual levels, the Prius holding its value well compared to rivals. Now in its fourth generation, it also offers an improved driving experience.

Best features:

  • Spacious and comfortable
  • Very good reliability
  • Improved driving experience



The plug-in hybrid version of the Hyundai Ioniq joined the line-up in 2017, the car providing a good alternative and a rival to the Toyota Prius. It offers a slightly cheaper starting price too, yet similarly holds its value as well. The car is easy to drive and refined, proving exceptionally quiet. Inside, the traditional hatchback has ample cabin space, providing plenty of leg and headroom for those in the front and the back. It has a nice ergonomic layout and good interior build quality, with comfy seats and a smooth ride experience. Finally, the Hyundai Ioniq also comes with a decent amount of equipment as standard.

Best features:

  • Easy to drive
  • Refined and quiet
  • Spacious cabin



The Volkswagen Passat is a hugely popular nameplate that has been around since 1973. Rather impressively it is now in its eighth generation, proving just as strong as ever. The PHEV variant of the Passat (the GTE) has had a slightly more turbulent start being introduced in 2016, pulled in 2018 (due to changes in CO2 testing), and now reintroduced back to the market, new and improved. Available in saloon and estate guise, the latest Passat GTE has a higher-capacity battery, allowing up to 34 miles on the fully electric mode alone. It has an understated, yet attractive design and excellent build quality, finished with a high-end interior and plenty of cabin space. It is a comfortable car that is refined and relaxed, making it a great motorway cruiser.

Best features:

  • High-end interior
  • Excellent build quality
  • Comfortable and refined



The PHEV versions of the BMW 5 Series (530e and 545e xDrive) offer you everything you’d expect and want of that car, but with the added bonus of cheaper running costs and lower CO2 emissions. In other words, it remains one of the best cars to drive in its class, it has premium build quality, and a luxury cabin finished with suitably plush materials. It also comes with a host of leading technology and driver assist systems, plus it has that unmistakable BMW shine and sophisticated styling. PHEV variants of this executive saloon are also fast, providing a good amount of power when it’s needed with quick acceleration. It can also travel up to 37 miles on just electric power with a fully charged battery.

Best features:

  • Class leading to drive
  • Leading technology
  • Luxury cabin



Unveiled in 2012, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is one of the best-selling hybrids in Britain and for a while it was one of the few plug-in hybrid SUVs on the market, although that is now changing with more and more rivals offering the more eco-friendly powertrain. The Outlander PHEV still represents a strong option against the competition, able to drive approximately 28-35 miles on the electric mode for a potential fuel return of 130 miles per gallon – not bad at all for a sports utility vehicle. It has nice, bulky styling and a good amount of equipment as standard, proving a practical family car. Plus, as a 4×4 it offers extra grip in adverse weather and the chance to go light off-roading. It also holds its value surprisingly well.

Best features:

  • Practical family car
  • Good standard equipment
  • Nice, bulky styling



The Mercedes-Benz C-Class plug-in hybrid (C 300) offers something slightly different from the competition in that it pairs an electric motor and sizeable battery with a diesel engine, where other manufacturers usually pair it with a petrol engine. And as you’d expect from Mercedes, it is an impressive auto, offering up to 35 miles on electric mode with a fully charged battery – perfect for city driving. It is also a confident long-distance runner, proving an excellent cruiser on the motorway. It has cutting-edge technology and a wealth of driver assist systems and safety features. Naturally, the C-Class has strong levels of luxury throughout too, with a plush cabin lined with soft materials and comfy seats with plenty of leg and headroom. Of course, these features all add up to a car that has good residuals.

Best features:

  • Excellent long-distance cruiser
  • Cutting-edge technology
  • Plush cabin



The petrol-electric plug-in hybrid model of the Range Rover Evoque (P300e) is new for 2020 and whilst that means it hasn’t quite stood the test of time to truly understand its level of depreciation, it is expected to hold its value well just like its petrol and diesel counterparts. In fact, it’s highly possible in a few years’ time the Evoque will climb higher on this list as it is a class-leading SUV. As you’d expect from Land Rover, the Evoque is excellent on and off the road. Going off the beaten track, it is able to tackle the toughest terrain, whilst on the tarmac it offers refined road manners and a comfortable driving experience. Inside, the car has that premium Land Rover feel, with a solid layer of luxury and lots of space. It is a practical and stylish SUV and as a PHEV it offers great fuel economy too.

Best features:

  • Class-leading off-road
  • Luxury interior
  • Comfortable and refined


Looking for an economical PHEV? Look no further than

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Back to articles March 12, 2021

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